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Ex-attorney in fraud case enticed minor for sex, police say

Published: Monday, Nov. 11 2013 5:55 p.m. MST

A former Salt Lake attorney who was sentenced to federal prison for defrauding the IRS, was arrested over the weekend for investigation of enticing a minor over the Internet.

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SALT LAKE CITY — A former Salt Lake attorney who served time in federal prison for defrauding the IRS was arrested over the weekend for investigation of enticing a minor over the Internet.

Michael Nielson Behunin, 50, was arrested Friday night by Salt Lake police. Behunin contacted what he thought was a 16-year-old boy on Craigslist, according to a Salt Lake County Jail booking report. The boy was actually an undercover police officer.

Behunin solicited sex acts from the undercover officer through texting and offered to pick him up from high school, the report states. The officer arranged a meeting place and arrested Behunin when he showed up.

Behunin, along with David J. Orr and Todd Cannon, were sentenced to federal prison in 2007 for their roles in a Ponzi scheme. In all, investors lost between $5 million and $7 million, some even lost their life savings. The IRS claims it lost $5 million to $10 million in tax revenue.

Behunin was found guilty of conspiracy to defraud the United States and sentenced to 2 ½ years in prison. He served his time at a facility in Taft, Calif., according to court records.

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